(Dr. S.M. Moin Qureshi) Everyone cannot and should not aspire for everything that is in the world. Yet, certain deprivations do put a man into an inferior mental condition. In London, a woman had two children from her previ­ous marriage and one from the latest one. One Sunday, as all the children were get­ting ready to leave with their father for the amusement park, the youngest, Jim, rushed in on the verge of tears.

“What is the matter, dear?” her mother asked.

“This is not fair Mom,” the four-year-old cried. “My brothers have two fathers to play with; I have only one!”

In Western society, extremism pre­vails in paternal relations. Some children have several fathers while some have none at all. The second category belongs to children born to unmarried couples. They have only ‘ad-hoc’ fathers (not recognized by law) until the couple en­ters into matrimony.

Sense of deprivation occurs in the num­ber of wives also – but mostly negatively. A man advised his wife to prepare his breakfast early the following morning as he had to participate in the funeral of his friend’s wife. The dutiful wife followed his advice. However, after eating the break­fast, the man sat reading the newspaper in a relaxed mood. The lady reminded him to make haste otherwise he might miss the funeral.

“I have given up the idea of going over there,” he told her gruffly.

“But why?” she yelled.

“I am indeed ashamed.”

“Why are you ashamed to attend a funeral?” she wanted to know.

“I’m ashamed because this is the third time my friend has invited me to at­tend the funeral of his wife. I have not even once extended this courtesy to him.”

Ordinarily, one wife is enough to turn a house into hell. Those who can afford polygamy deserve to be sympathized and patted on their backs. We, Muslims, can take a maximum of four at a time (subject to toughest conditions). The craze of a Bosnian man with regard to the number of wives has crossed all boundaries of sensibility. He has de­sired to have;-as many as 262 wives. Why he chose the figure of 262 has not been made public. According to a report carried by a local daily last week, this fellow has already contracted 161 marriages. He wants to make another cen­tury to take the final tally to 262.

It is strange that Bosnian women have made a beeline to be the wife of this sex-maniac. Is it because a large portion of the male Bosnian population has been consumed in the Bosnian in-fight span­ning several years? If so, why has the burden been shifted to one man alone? Or the man has offered his services volun­tarily?

I read the news to my wife. Accord­ing to her not the man, but women are volunteering their services to her.

“How come?” I was puzzled. “Don’t they see that the man is jilting them all? Why do they get trapped?”

“Of course, every one of them sees the fate of the dead or divorced,” she as­serted, “but still gives him an umpteenth chance in the hope that she herself would be the last. I think there is no Asma Jehangir or Hina Jeelani in that country to take note of this “gang matrimony*”

Apparently, the Bosnian man has embarked on the marrying spree to get his name entered into the Guinness World Records (formerly Guinness Book of World Records) but, to me, it is a case fit for intervention by the Amnesty Interna­tional. The man is guilty of repeated hu­man rights violations. The western world treats more than one wife taken by Mus­lims as a threat to human rights but it has turned a blind eye to this Bosnian who has taken 161 wives and wishes to have 100 more.

For some, polygamy is the greatest testimony to man’s willingness to take chances. In the words of Elbert Hubbard, it is “an endeavor to get more out of life than there is in it.” Polygamy is now oper­ated on the installment plans in America as well.

“Engaged to four girls at once!” ex­claimed the horrified uncle of a New Yorker. “How do you account for such a con­duct?”

“I don’t know,” said the graceless nephew. “Cupid must have shot me with a machine gun.”

Western women are known for changing husbands on one pretext or the other; often just for a change. The Bosnian man has set the first concrete example of changing wives. A maid and a cook were chatting in the kitchen of a house in Lon­don. The maid said, “Our mistress has a new husband.”

The cook asked, “Do you think he’ll stay?”

In Toronto, Mr. Smith’s wife died. She willed that her hat should re­main hanging on the hat-rack just as she left it. After a year had elapsed, Mrs. Smith No.2 was ushered in. As she passed by the hat-rack, Mr. Smith requested that the hat must not be dislocated.

A few years later, Mr. Smith was bringing his third wife to his home. He passed before the hat-rack where the two hats hung. He repeated his request. “I will not disturb those hats,” she promised, “but the next hat that hangs there will be a main’s.”

And it was!

Then, there are those who repent their first mistake as long as they live. It was close to 8:15 p.m. and the gallery was crowded. “Two single seats,” announced the theatre employee facing the crowd.”

“But you wouldn’t separate a daugh­ter from her mother, would you?” politely asked the older of the two women who were close to the aisle.

“You’re quite right, madam; I wouldn’t,” replied the employee, “I did that once, and I’ve been regretting it ever since.”